New Features in Finale

For details on specific interface changes added in the most recent version of Finale, see Finale Interface Changes. For a list of fixed defects, refer to the Read Me document that was installed with your version of Finale or Fixes in Finale.

What's New in Finale version 26


  • Entry. Articulations are now automatically stacked on entry. When an articulation is removed from a stack, the remaining articulations are automatically adjusted. When a removed articulation is moved back into the stack, the stack automatically adjusts to accommodate the articulation and maintains manual adjustments.
  • Positioning. When articulations are placed stem-side, their positioning is centered horizontally on the stem.
  • Pre-Finale v26 documents. Users are prompted to update articulation positioning when opening a pre-Finale v26 document. This removes any existing manual positioning in favor of automatic collision avoidance. This preference can be set and changed at any time in the Preferences dialog box. If you have decided to maintain manual positioning for all of your pre-Finale v26 documents, you can later update individual documents to adhere to the automatic placement rules defined in the Articulation Designer dialog box by using the Change Articulation Assignment dialog box (Utilities > Change > Articulations).
  • Articulation menu. Users can quickly change an individual articulation’s stacking behavior by using the Articulation menu.
  • Articulation Selection dialog box. The stacking order is defined by the order of articulations in the Articulation Selection dialog box. An asterisk indicates that an articulation can be stacked. When an articulation is duplicated in the Articulation Selection dialog box, the new articulation appears next to the original articulation and isn't assigned a Metatool.
  • Articulation Designer dialog box. The Articulation Designer dialog box has been updated to give users control over an articulation's default behavior within a document.
  • Flipping. Flip articulations using the F keystroke or new Articulation menu or context menu. When a note's stem is flipped, stacked articulations (and any manual adjustments to their positioning) automatically move to the opposite side of the note.
  • Create Handbells Used Chart plug-in. The Create Handbells Used Chart plug-in has been updated to work with the new articulation stacking feature.
  • Resizing. Articulations that are set to horizontally center on a note remain centered when a note is resized.
  • Program defaults. Document Styles, tutorials, default documents, libraries, and templates have been updated to take advantage of automatic articulation stacking and collision avoidance.
  • See Articulations for more information.


  • Process. The Finale authorization process has been updated to be more concise so that users can start creating music quicker.
  • Error messages. Finale displays more detailed messages regarding authorization errors to help users troubleshoot issues they may encounter.

Change Note Durations dialog box

Finale files

  • Templates. 31 new templates have been added to Finale, including two new ukulele templates with correct fretboards and the return of the Maestro font Lead Sheet template. See Templates.
  • Libraries. Document Styles, templates, and default documents have been updated with new chord, expression, and Smart Shape libraries. See Finale libraries.

Go to Measure dialog box

Installation improvements

  • Uninstalling. The Finale v26 installer allows users to choose between replacing their Finale v25 installation with Finale v26 or retaining both versions on their computer.


  • Chord suffix libraries. Chord suffix libraries for Times New Roman, Broadway Copyist, Arial, Finale Copyist Text, and Jazz Text fonts have been updated to include even more commonly used chord symbols.

MIDI setup

  • Launching Finale. MIDI setup is automatically configured when Finale is first launched and after preferences are cleared. Manual configuration can still be made in the MIDI Setup dialog box.


  • Compressed .mxl files are now the default format for MusicXML exports, making creating SmartMusic files with graphics easier. This option can be changed in the MusicXML Preferences dialog box.
  • Exporting and importing speed for large batches of MusicXML files has been significantly improved.
  • Improved exporting and importing of:
    • Fortissimo, upbow, and downbow Maestro characters
    • X noteheads
    • Page-attached text blocks with rectangle enclosures
    • sffzpp and sfzzppp dynamics
  • Chord symbols now export more accurately, including symbols that use the Finale Numerics font and Broadway Copyist Text Extended Character Set.
  • Gould arrow quartertone accidentals are exported accurately to MusicXML 3.1.
  • Finale adds a warning in an exported MusicXML file when Display in Concert Pitch is set and includes transposed music.
  • Error logs that are generated from MusicXML imports and exports now include more file path information.
  • False positive processing instructions for certain expressions has been cleaned up.
  • MusicXML export support has been added for the Express Music fonts and the MetTimes font by DVM Publications.
  • Default fonts for text blocks and lyrics are now imported as font document options.
  • Non-arpeggiated symbols are now imported.
  • Undertie elisions are now imported.
  • Single-note slides now export and import with positioning.
  • Font families for custom line text are now imported.
  • During import, if more than one articulation maps to a MusicXML element, the one with auto note/stem side positioning is the one chosen.
  • Unrecognized other-dynamics content now imports as an expression in a text font, rather than being ignored.
  • Links now import with page-attached text blocks.


Setup Wizard

  • Pickup notes. 64th and dotted 64th notes can now be selected as pickup measures in the Setup Wizard.


  • Articulation interactions. Articulations automatically adjust to slur placement and contour. For more control, the Smart Slur Options dialog box has been updated to allow adjustment of the minimum space between slurs and articulations.
  • Engraver Slurs. Engraver Slurs automatically update when a slur nested within another slur is deleted.

Smart Shapes

  • Viewing changes. Finale no longer requires an Update Layout or Redraw Screen command to see an automatic Smart Shape adjustment when the contents of the measure change.
  • Metatools. New Smart Shapes have been added and Metatools have been updated. See Metatools.


  • Stem and stemless notes. Stem length is automatically adjusted when a tremolo is added to a note to avoid collisions with flags and beams. When tremolos are added to a whole note, they are horizontally centered to the attached note. Tremolos maintain their positioning on stems when other articulations are added, deleted, moved, or flipped. Newly entered tremolos automatically adhere to enhanced positioning.
  • Staff interaction. Tremolos automatically remain in the staff and never intersect with ledger lines by default.

Previous versions

For the following feature lists, items that have changed as of the current version of Finale are marked with an *.

Leave feedback on this topic
Finale for Windows

7007 Winchester Circle, Suite 140

Boulder, CO 80301

Copyright and trademarks